The Madras Voluntary Aided School was built in 1811 by George Lord Kenyon II and was the first free school in Wales. The Rev Dr Andrew Bell (founder of the Madras College St Andrews Edinburgh) brought his methodology of education known as the Madras System to this unique school in Penley. Lord Kenyon provided funding and gave land for
a schoolhouse and school for the education of children in the principles of the Established Church of England and Ireland in the Madras System of education............
..........if the said schoolhouse and school should at anytime thereafter, from neglect, dilapidation or otherwise, cease to be used and applied for that purpose, then the said premises should immediately revert to the said George, Lord Kenyon and the grant should cease and become void.
The commemoration plaque at the front of the school depicts a bible giving indication of the original religious style of education to the pupils here. Today we still use aspects of Rev Bell's system with the continuation of monitors throughout the year 5 and 6 pupils. Further information about Rev Dr Bell can be found on the next page.
Another longstanding educational tradition that is still upheld at Madras is that of teacher training which we have successfully been involved with for over 100 years. Today though our teaching students are with us for a shorter time for their practical training whilst their main training takes place at the North East Wales Institute (NEWI) at Plas Coch Wrexham.
The Madras VA School accepts pupils between 3 and 11 years old. Nursery pupils are accepted for the September term following their 3rd birthday (aged 3 by 31st August). Reception pupils are accepted for the September term following their 4th birthday (aged 4 by 31st August).
The criteria for admissions is as follows:
- Whether the child lives in the Civil Parish of Penley.
- Whether the child has a sibling at the school.
- Whether the child had a sibling at the school.
- Whether the parents desire a school where regular corporate worship is held; where teaching is permeated by Christian standards of faith and conduct; and where there is an active link with a Church.
- Whether there are particular facilities offered by the school (which are not available at other schools nearby) which are especially needed.
- Whether the parents are active worshipping members of the Anglican Church.
With the Madras VA School being a Church in Wales school, the Governors are responsible for the admission of pupils into school. Further details and admission forms can be obtained from the school office.
School dinners are provided by Wrexham County Support Services and are cooked on the premises in our modern kitchen. Further details about our menus and healthy options can be found on the dinner menu page. Current meal costs are as follows and can be paid half termly or termly in advance (please contact the school office for costs). Free dinners are available to qualifying applicants - please contact the school office or Wrexham CBC, Tŷ Henblas, Queens Square, Wrexham, LL13 8AZ for an application form.